In 2009 I worked for an oil/fuel distributor. I sold industrial chemicals in 2005-2007 and really enjoyed it. I was a girly girl in a manly man world. I could talk shop with Maintenance Supervisors of Power Plants.
I actually had something to teach them. I understood and could explain how to clean hydraulic oil. It was empowering and I impressed myself. I was comfortable and familiar with all kinds of industrial companies and applications.
None of my friends could believe I made my living this way. Prior to my industrial journey, I was an actress and worked in the world of perfume. Now I sold malodor counteractants, lubricants and asphalt release.
The products had great names. Some of my favorites; Slippery Pull, Nutbreaker 2000 and Super Caulk.
I worked with Cities, Waste Management, California Dept. Of Transportation, The Navy, Edwards Air Force Base and the list goes on.
After a break from the industrial world, I started back, selling oil and fuel in December 2008. Right after the economic crash. The company I worked for was quite small and the long and short of it was, they simply could not compete with the larger companies offering the same products and faster service for a lower price. It was clear to me after six months that I did not have a future there and I admit, I had issues with the fact I sold oil. I did need to pay my bills but OIL????
One bone of contention I dealt with was the fact I LIVE in open toe shoes. When I sold industrial chemicals. I always wore skirts, tank tops and sandals. No one cared. No one said anything. I did very well and it was a non-issue. The oil company had a big problem with my need for cool feet. So I would keep a pair of closed toe shoes in the trunk of my car. I was also accused of having no filter when it came to my big mouth. When the accusation was made, I informed them I did, in fact have a filter. It was in my trunk with my closed toe shoes. :)
Working in a manly man world was really cool most of the time. Though, I saw and heard things I couldn't believe. One man sat in his office and told me, in a very serious, matter-of-fact way "I am very oral." And he didn't mean that he liked to talk. Hmmmm, I am a sales rep. I want him to buy my product. I couldn't call him a name. I wasn't going to make a big deal. I heard stuff from these guys all day. As long as they didn't touch me or tell me to exchange sex for business, I would smile and act like I am not fazed. I have a tough hide and what he said did not bother me. I know he was hoping to clue me in on what he likes and perhaps, I would be so excited at the prospect of what he had to offer, I would disrobe immediately and fulfill his desire. No, I smiled and changed the subject, got the sale and left.
When I knew the writing was on the wall and there was no future for me in the world of crude (no pun intended), I decided that I would make a huge life change and move from Los Angeles to be closer to my mother living in Northern California. I had not planned on also becoming an author. Though I had already finished collecting all the stories I needed for The Virgin Diaries, I didn't think it would go anywhere.
Almost as soon as I arrived to my new home, I got in touch with Ralph Faust via Facebook (a man I knew in my youth) and after learning of my manuscript (TVD), he offered to design the format. Before I knew it, Ralph, my mother and I had collaborated on a finished product. Ralph introduced me to Creatspace.com, a sister of Amazon and The Virgin Diaries was born along with my company Ark Stories.
I dove in head first and felt my way through. I had no idea what I was doing but I knew my extensive sales experience and my years of acting and performing would definitely help me in the marketing aspect of getting my book out into the world.
Now that I have a year under my belt, I have more fuel (no pun intended again) and knowledge for book number two. I love what I do. More so than anything I have ever done.
I have cursed this economy over and over but it is because of this economy that I created a new path for myself. I have found my heart's desire!
In a weird way, I am grateful for this economic downturn. Don't get me wrong, I want improvement. I think the real benefit for many is the opportunity to start over. To realize a dream. It is easy to get lost in the everyday of paying bills and putting aside your true aspirations. Losing my job created an open door for me in my current profession.
So here we go with book number two. Already my father is asking, "What's the next book?"